Russia blames Israel for Syria, its own ally, firing a Russian-made air defense missile that missed Israeli jets attacking Syria and instead killed 15 Russian servicemen on an Il-20 spy plane. "At least that's what they told me when we discussed a possible delivery of the S-300 a few years ago..." General Amikam Norkin, Commander of the Israeli Air Force, presented in Moscow an extensive report on the incident, which left no doubt about the clean execution of the Israeli air strike, but for many Russians such technical details are of little relevance.
Moscow claims that Tel Aviv failed to inform Russian Federation of an impending attack by Israeli fighter jets against targets in Latakia, Syria, and that the jets used the Il-20 as cover.
Frequently, Syria responds to these strikes with air defense fire against Israeli fighter jets.
Russian Defense Ministry puts the blame squarely on Israel.
The pilot of the IL-20 subsequently received an order to leave his mission area and to return to the Russian operated Khmeimim base in northwest Syria after which the plane suddenly disappeared from the radar. On Sunday, the Israeli Defense Force said that the Israeli planes "did not hide behind any aircraft and... the Israeli aircraft were in Israeli airspace at the time of the downing of the Russian plane".
Russian Federation has an airbase in Syria from which it carries out air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad's forces. On top of that, the Russian military will start using electronic countermeasures to jam any aircraft that would try to launch attacks off Syria's coast.
Russian Federation launched its campaign in Syria to support President Al Assad in 2015, and though the involvement turned the tide of war in favour of Syrian government forces, Moscow has since tried to play a careful balancing act, maintaining good ties both with Iran and Israel.
Russian Federation will provide advanced S-300 missile systems to Syria and directly link up with the air-defence network of its Middle Eastern ally, stepping up support for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad after the downing of a reconnaissance plane last week. Russian officials have blamed Israel for the downing of the plane.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against delivering an advanced air-defense system to Syria, saying it will further destabilize the war-torn region.
In that time, only one Israeli jet is known to have been shot down - an F-16 which crashed in northern Israel.
He said Moscow had refrained from providing Syria the S-300 in the past, obliging Israel's repeated requests.
"The S-300 systems Russian Federation plans to supply to Syria will feature a compromise solution", said Sokov.
In his remarks on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he had agreed with Putin "that the working teams from the IDF and the Russian army will meet soon". Russian forces backing the Assad regime and members of the US coalition battling the Islamic State in Syria have maintained an uneasy detente since the beginning of coalition operations in the country four years ago.
The most recent incident was the worst case of friendly fire between Russian Federation and Syria.